"Do you have any questions for me?"
May 14, 2015
It’s crucial in job-hunting to prepare in advance for how you will answer interview questions. Being able to speak intelligently and thoughtfully about your education, experiences, and former jobs is essential to presenting yourself well to a potential employer. What some people don’t realize, however, is preparing questions that you yourself will ask of your interviewers can help give you a boost in your job hunt.
Kaitlin, a hiring expert from Textron, Inc. says, “Come to the interview prepared with questions to ask about the company based on research you have done along with questions specific to the position you applied for. This will show the recruiter/hiring manager your interest in the company and the position.
To help you, we’ve gathered up six great questions every job-seeking individual should keep handy to ask during interviews.
1. “What does your role here in the company look like?” Even if the people interviewing you wouldn’t be your direct supervisor or even someone in your future department, asking about what they do shows your interest in the company as a whole, not just in the position you’re applying for. It will help show that you can be a team player who is interested in your coworkers and how each employee works together for the company.
2. “What does a typical day in the life of this position look like?” This will not only help you get a better understanding of the role you are interviewing for, but will show your interviewers that you want to know get a strong sense of what the job entails. Stephanie, a hiring expert at AT&T, Inc. says, “Your interviewer wants to know that you have given some thought to what it would really be like to work for the company and that you recognize that every question can't be answered in a carefully crafted job description.”
3. “How has this position changed or evolved over the years?” Many roles look different over time, and asking your interviewers to tell you more about that will help you understand the environment you may be entering. If the role is “communications coordinator” for example, you may learn that it used to be heavily public relations focused but has since shifted to involve much more social media management. Knowing the history of the position will give you a much better perspective of how to meet the current expectations of the role and even excel through your performance.
4. “What are some ways people who formerly held this position made a lasting impact or impressed you?” Hearing stories or examples of things other people in the role did well will give you insight into what the company values and what they might expect from you. Pay attention to how they respond so you can see what the company holds in high regard and show that you possess those qualities.
5. “What is the culture around this company like?” You might learn that the company has a recreational sports league, or a young professionals council that holds monthly events. The company might have casual Fridays, your department might get lunch at a local restaurant together occasionally, etc., and you’ll be able to get a sense of whether you would fit in well at the company. Ashley, a hiring expert at Cardinal Health, says “You can also ask the hiring manager specific questions about their background and the dynamic and structure of the team this position would be working on.” While you won’t be able to get a full idea of the company culture or work environment through a few questions, you will leave with a much better picture that will help you decide if the job would be right for you.
6. “What qualities would your ideal candidate possess?” Hearing their descriptions will open the door for you to share more about your own qualities as well as to understand their expectations of whoever they hire. If they mention responsibility as an important quality and you’ve held leadership roles that came with specific responsibilities, this would be a great way to follow-up and share about how meaningful that experience was and how well it prepared you for this potential role.
Keep a few, or all, of these handy for your next interview to and you’ll impress your interviewers. Be sure to do your research on the company no matter what so you can come prepared.
Steve, a hiring expert from Caterpillar, Inc., gives some further advice: “Some things that you can do are to search LinkedIn for the names of the people you are interviewing with, if you have them. Do a Google search on the company and find out things that are in the news about that company (ex. new joint ventures, new products & services, economy driven cutbacks, etc.). You should also search the site GlassDoor for information about the company. You can use all of this information that you find for the questions you ask.”